A discretionary housing payment is an additional payment to help you with your rent. It is only available for people in extreme hardship who are claiming Housing Benefit or are entitled to the housing costs element from Universal Credit.
The payment can only be used to pay rent, not to cover costs for service charges or utility bills.
You can’t claim a discretionary housing payment if:
- you don’t qualify for Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of universal credit
- you are not currently in receipt of the housing costs element of Universal Credit
- your Housing Benefit or other housing costs have been suspended
- you’re already receiving full Housing Benefit or full housing costs from Universal Credit
- you’re short on rent because of extra charges for arrears or court costs
- you’re short on rent because of extra charges for services that aren’t eligible for Housing Benefit or the housing costs from Universal Credit, such as fuel charges or meals
- you’re short on rent because your benefits have been reduced due to sanctions.
We won’t normally award a discretionary housing payment if we think that the rent for your property is too high or when your property is too large for your needs and other suitable accommodation is available